\”Where are you?\” he barked.
\”Arre I\’m just reaching na!\” came the reply.
Bunty\’s face contorted. He made a quick calculation. \’Just reaching\’ would mean another 30 minutes. He replied \’ok\’ and disconnected. 30 minutes to kill! No point in getting bored inside the SUV even though it was slightly hot outside in the May morning.
Bunty got off his limited edition black Safari and adjusted his tight shirt\’s unbuttoned top button. He shook his hairy wrists and got his gold bracelets into position. He pulled up his Diesel jeans and knocked his pointy leather shoes on the tarmac. He looked left and right through his oversized shades and walked to the cold-water vendor on the footpath.
\”How much for a glass?\” he asked.
\”Fifty paise, saab.\”
\”Ok. And how much with Lime?\”
There was a pause while Bunty inspected the cart leaking saline water from its bottom. Bored, he shifted his attention to Bidi-Cigarette vendor.
\”Saab, should I give you a glass?\” asked the water vendor.
Bunty turned sharply and said half laughing and half mocking, \”Abe you have understood me a chutiya? I dont want to die by drinking your water!\”
The water vendor was dejected. The Bidi vendor heard this and tried not to catch Bunty\’s gaze. Luckily, Delhi in May of 2007 wasn\’t as hot as most years. So you could stand outside in the mornings at least. Shades were especially cool. That, and his boredom, prompted Bunty to hum the latest Himesh Reshammiya number, a bit too loudly.
A traffic cop drove up and parked his yellow, aged and thumping bullet behind Bunty\’s Safari. He removed his helmet and took out what used to be a white handkerchief and wiped his face.
He looked at the SUV and then at Bunty and asked, \”Is everything alright?\”
Bunty stopped humming and straightened up and replied in a friendly manner, \”Ya ya, just waiting for someone Sir.\”
The cop began watching the streaming traffic keenly. Within no time he took a step forward and extended his two and half feet hand and blocked the twenty feet road. A hapless scooterist was caught in the net. The pillion rider didn\’t have a helmet on.
\”License and registration please\” ordered the cop.
Bunty was watching this with much amusement. One thought crossed his mind. \”Chutiye saale!\” A grin plastered across his face. After some negotiations, the transaction was done and the scooter was allowed to proceed. Bunty stepped up to the cop to strike a conversation. He still had some time to kill. And no one like a cop for some masculine BC-MC chitchat. He might as well make up for the mush-talk time he\’s going to spend with his nagging girlfriend during the next two days in Kasauli.
\”Haraamzaade, never seem to learn!\” started Bunty, \”And then they blame the traffic police of harassing them…\”
The cop took the friendly cue, \”Yeah! You tell me, what more can we do if these village idiots act like animals? How can we educate them? They don’t understand the laws or the traffic signs…\”
Bunty asked with a crooked smile, \”So how much did you fine them?\”
\”He he he…forty bucks\” said the cop with a grin, \”Poor buggers needed money for lunch. I\’m a fair person you know…\”
\”How\’s the business doing these days?\” Bunty dared further, knowing that Delhi cops are very friendly if you talk to them in a friendly and knowing manner.
\”Things have actually improved after the orders of the High Court. People never learn you know. They still drive rashly, still don’t get pollution check done and still talk on phone while driving. With the higher fines, they\’re keener to deal with us than going to court. So yeah, things are looking up!\” said the cop with a smile of contentment.
Suddenly the cop jumped and darted to the middle of the road and stopped a cargo company\’s Maruti Van. Traffic cops had \’Spider Sense\’ for violaters. The driver was taking instructions on his mobile.
\”Licence and registration please.\” Another round of negotiations followed. Bunty was by the side of the cop this time but didn\’t open his mouth. Transaction closed at Rs. 100 and both of them retreated to the shade.
\”Today is the first birthday of the Sub Inspector\’s son. We\’re all contributing. I have to finish this before midday. No point standing here in the heat.\” the cop said.
\”Oh ok. I too want to move before it gets too hot. Driving to the hills for the weekend. With my girlfriend.\” Bunty said with a wink.
Bunty got a call from a business associate of his father\’s and assured the \’uncle\’ that he will definitely visit the vendor \’tomorrow\’ and get the work done. The traffic flow had reduced to a trickle. The cop was getting impatient.
\”How fast does that go?\” he asked looking at Bunty\’s Safari.
\”Fast enough to tear apart other car\’s asses!\” guffawed Bunty.
The Cop went up to the Safari and walked around it appreciating. It was one mammoth machine with huge Hankook tyres, beautiful golden trim, VIP dark film and sexy fancy number plates. Bunty walked along with him gloating over his possession. When they got back to the rear, he asked, \”How did you like her?\”
The cop looked disinterestedly at his wrist watch and then at the sun\’s angle, and said,
\”License and registration please.\”